The personal meaning of today's picture is discussed on my other blog, here. In this post I'll talk about what I did to create this page.
I knew I wanted a shepherd and sheep on this page, and chose places for them. I also knew I wanted to write some quotes on the inside of the images, and wanted bigger words "The Lord is My Shepherd" as sort of a title. I remembered having seen Rebekah Jones writing big words on a Bible page - right across the printed words - and having it still readable, so I went back and checked to see how she did it (check her blog here). She used Inktense pencils, which I don't have, but I figured my watercolor pencils would work. I also decided to use my computer to create the words and trace them like she did.
I found a font that was close to what I wanted (unfortunately, I don't remember which one now). I overlapped the letters, stretching them to fit the space I had to fill, and then printed out the result. Because it was so hard to see them through the page (because of the writing front & back) I colored them with a sharpie. This gave me a chance. Though I could still see them only imperfectly, it was enough to enable me to get the gist of it:
- I first traced them lightly with a pencil, then erased as much of the pencil marks as I could (since I knew it wouldn't erase perfectly and I'd still be able to see it).
- Next, I colored the letters in with a watercolor pencil.
- Following Rebekah's advice, I took a paintbrush, dipped it in water, and dabbed it on a paper towel to remove most of the moisture before using the brush to blend the color on the letters.
- After that, I took a Sharpie and outlined each letter.
- Finally, I went over the letters with clear "Wink of Stella" to add a bit of glitz and help them stand out.
For the shepherd and sheep, I first tried to find pictures that I might be able to trace (since I often find drawing what I want to be a challenge). I couldn't find what I wanted. No ready-made pictures were oriented quite the way I wanted them or else they were too cartoonish. The "how to draw" shepherd & sheep videos were also more cartoonish than I wanted. But together, they all gave me enough ideas that I was able to draw these (though they came together easily enough that I frankly believe it to be a miracle!).
I first drew them on tracing paper (since I've discovered that Bible pages prepared with gesso don't erase well and the tracing paper allowed me to see through to the Bible page so I could form them around the printed text). After I got them drawn I went over the outlines with a Sharpie and then placed the drawing behind the Bible page so I could trace them. That worked pretty well for the shepherd, but I couldn't see the sheep well enough because of writing on the back side of the page. So, I resorted to a trick I learned a long time ago. Since I had drawn the sheep on a piece of tracing paper, it was easy to do:
- Take a soft pencil and traced the outline on the BACK of the drawing.
- Place the drawing in place on the page, right side up (back side with pencil marks facing the page).
- Trace again around the drawing. The pressure will transfer the pencil marks from the back of the tracing paper to the page.
- Remove the drawing and go over the resulting marks with a pen (I used a Sharpie).
I really was pretty pleased with the way it all came together. I hand-wrote the verses I wanted inside the drawings and colored/shaded the shepherd and sheep with my Scroll and Brush markers. When coloring the sheep, I discovered that if I put just a touch of the marker and then came back over it with a water brush, I could blend it out to a much lighter color (especially when working over the clear gesso!). For instance, I used the same marker to color the sheep's face & the shepherd's face - but you can see that the sheep's face is not nearly as dark. To color the sheep's wool, I drew with the marker near a curved (fluffy) part and then took the water brush over it in circles to create a bit of texture from that. You can't tell as well in the picture, but in real life, you can see that it worked pretty well.
Next I highlighted the words of the Psalm in green with a Scroll & Brush marker before going over them again with a Wink of Stella clear pen.
For my last step, I colored in the "grass" and the sky with oil pastels. I applied the color, and then rubbed it with my finger to blend it out.